Milwaukee winters can be brutal in more ways than just snow and ice creating havoc on the roads. The shortened, gloomy, and overcast days can greatly result in a population of depressed residents. Sitting inside in front of the television or gaming equipment for longer periods of time, getting up only to find yet another thing to dine on can result in a higher obesity and higher rate of heart attacks and other health problems.
Cold weather, which discourages residents from venturing outside, can result in a major lack of Vitamin D, an essential vitamin which is known to reduce risk of heart attack, help women lose weight and reduce risk of rickets and osteoporosis. Vitamin D, commonly called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is a hormone that is produced when one is exposed to sunshine. It has been stated that even just 10 minutes minimum of sun a day can provide enough Vitamin D to reduce the risks of many of the health issues resulting from Vitamin D deficiencies.
Statistics indicate that 30 to 50 percent of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency even during summer months. Winter months result with increased deficiencies of Vitamin D particularly in the regions where snow and cold weather keeps many indoors. Two most important forms of Vitamin D are Vitamin D2 which is synthesized by plants and Vitamin D3 which is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight. Many foods may be fortified with vitamin D2 or D3.
Vitamin D can be sourced from foods such as egg yolks, beef liver, fish, fish oil, fortified milk and cod liver oil and other fortified dairy and grains. Vitamin D is essential in helping the body obsorb required amounts of calcium for good bone health and strength. Calcium supplements can be purchased with added amounts of Vitamin D also. As nature and outdoor enthusiasts, the most cost efficient and exciting form of Vitamin D levels can be captured by remaining active outside even during the winter months. Milwaukee and it’s surrounding areas offer up many nature and hiking/snowshoeing events as well as other winter sport activities.
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Resources include mayoclinic.com, webmd.com.